The University of the South Pacific (USP) has won the Tokyo Electron Award at the ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest, Robocon 2022.
The ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest (ABU Robocon) is an Asian-Oceanian college robot competition, founded in 2002 by Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. In the competition, robots compete to complete a task within a set period of time.
The contest aims to create friendships among young people with similar interests who will lead their countries in the 21st century, as well as help advance engineering and broadcasting technologies in the region.
USP has been actively participating in the ABU Robocon Competition since 2002 and this year marks the University’s 20th year in this association with ABU.
The USP team consisted of students from the School of Information, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics (STEMP) with Arshaque Ali leading the team alongside team members Shahil Prasad, Salveen Deo and Shahil Kumar together with Dr Sheikh Azid and Dr Sumesh Narayan as instructors.
The award was given to team USP as the shooter robot was able to complete the target at the first attempt which was quite a challenge for other teams. USP had previously won pool games and also qualified up to the quarter-finals in the previous years and the University has been awarded for special categories previously as well.
Lecturer in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, STEMP, Dr Sheikh Azid, one of the instructors from team Fiji, said the team felt privileged to be honoured with this award on an international platform.
“I am very proud of my students and the team for their excellent display. It highlights the quality of students and robotics content in our Bachelor of Engineering programme is at an international level,” he said.
Challenges and obstacles are inevitable making it a part and partial of life and such was the situation for the USP team while designing the robot for the competition as stated by Senior Lecturer from the Division of Mechanical Engineering, STEMP, Dr Sumesh Narayan who was also an instructor.
“We had very limited resources and funding available to build our robots for this competition. The majority of the parts were recycled from previous robots to prepare the robot for this year. Another challenge for us was the construction of the game field with the exact dimensions and specifications as required by the game rules. This also somehow hindered our performance as we didn’t have perfect game field conditions,” he said.
“However, with such major challenges and with the hard work and commitment of our students and dedicated team of technicians we managed to successfully build the robot and perform at such a prestigious international platform winning at least one award for the University giving international recognition,” he added.
Team USP leader, Arshaque Ali said the team was grateful and delighted for choosing USP for enhancing their career in the field of engineering.
“For all of us, it was electrical electronics. We are happy that we chose USP and only because of USP, we got the opportunity to broaden our skills and knowledge and we take part in the competition.”
ABU Robocon competition every year is all about how successfully teams could work.
Dr Sumesh Narayan said they had a robust team of young aspiring engineers and their technical team who have proven that team efforts never go in vain.
He sincerely thanked the Head of School, Prof. Maurizio Cirrincione, for all his efforts in making it possible for the team to participate in this competition in terms of using school laboratory facilities and funding requests for the team.
“We thank USP for actively allowing us to be part of this competition for the past two decades and we hope to continue to participate and win more awards on this international platform” he added.